Cougars Head to Montreal for Canadian Track and Field Championships
Track team continues to build momentum
For most Olympic sports, the off-season is just as important as the varsity one. Track and field is no exception. A large contingent of Cougar athletes are headed to Montreal from July 25 to July 28 to compete against Canada’s best at the Canadian Track and Field Championships. The meet will feature some of the biggest names in Canadian Track, including Olympic silver medalist Andre De Grasse. The meet also serves as qualification for Track and Field World Championships, Para World Championships, and presents the opportunity to be crowned Canadian Track and Field Champion.
Notable Cougar athletes who are competing include 1500m U Sports bronze medalist and presidents award winner Greg Hetterly who will race his specialty event, the 800m.
Greg has had a terrific year in his fourth season as a Cougar. He began his year by winning Canada West in the indoor 1500m, an event where he also set the school record. He then carried that momentum setting another personal best of 1:50.92 in the 800m at the PFT Classic in Portland, Oregon. If Hetterly is seeded seventeenth behind Canadian record holder Brandon McBride, and if he can continue his momentum this year, he could come out with a top–ten finish.
Also contesting the 800m is incoming Cougar rookie Ron Maclean who will race in the U20 category. Maclean is the defending under–18 cross-country Canadian champion and will look to make some noise on the track in the shorter events. Maclean is seeded eleventh in the U20 category with his fresh personal best of 1:53.08 from the Canada West challenge meet. Despite being on the younger side of the age category, a best time for Maclean could move him into the top ten as well.
Other Cougars to watch out for include Hetterly’s 4×800m U Sports bronze medal teammates Ret Brailsford, Alexander McBride and Brayden Mytopher who will be contesting the 800m and 1500m races. Canada West gold medalist Shane Patmore will contest the 400m.
On the women’s side, the Cougars are led by U Sports rookie of the year, Joely Welburn. Welburn has been on a tear this year, setting school records in the high jump and 4×400m en route to Canada West gold and U Sports bronze in her specialty, high jump, where she holds a personal best of 1.73m.
At the Canadian Track and Field Championships Welburn will be contesting the high jump alongside the long jump and 100m hurdles. In the long jump and high jump, she is seeded tenth and thirteenth respectively, but she is entering with a jump of 1.66m in high jump, well off her personal best.
Joining her in the high jump is U of R teammate and Canada West bronze medalist Amou Madol. Madol’s best jump of 1.7m seeds her in a tie for fifth place in the U20 category. A big jump could land her on the podium.
Another top seed on the women’s side is incoming second-year distance runner Kaylee Tymo. She is seeded third in the women’s U20 5000m and will look to pick up a medal there as well.
Also representing the Cougars are Skylar Smith, Kaila Neigum, Alyson Edwards, and Ericka Stockhorst.
For track and field, the season never ends, and big improvements here will drive the rapidly climbing Cougars to another successful varsity season. The men’s team will look to improve on their sixth-place finish at Canada West championships and their sixteenth-place finish at U Sports, while the Women’s team will try to crack the top-three in Canada West in 2019-2020.
Stay tuned for more Cougars track and field action in the new year.